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Silicon Valley generated 23 new billionaires last year including the founders of Airbnb and Uber

By Shawn Knight
Mar 3, 2015
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  1. forbes bill gates microsoft wealth forbes list

    You’ve probably heard the saying about how earning your first million dollars is the hardest and after that, the money comes easy. Bill Gates is a perfect example of that as his fortune continues to swell, even after he has given a large chunk of it away through charity and philanthropy.

    Gates once again sits atop Forbes' annual rich list with a net worth of $79.2 billion, up from just $76 billion a year ago. This is the second consecutive year that Gates has earned the honor; he has topped the list 16 of the last 21 years.

    Mexican telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim Helu, who last held the top position in 2013, finished in second place with $77.1 billion followed by investor Warren Buffet at $72.7 billion.

    Silicon Valley turned out 23 new billionaires during 2014 including the founders of Airbnb, Snapchat and Uber. Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel is now the world’s youngest billionaire at the age of 24 with a net worth of $1.5 billion.

    In total, there were 1,826 billionaires on the list – all but 197 were men. The highest ranked woman on the list is Christy Walton, the widow of John Walton, a son of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. She has a net worth of $41.7 billion.

    Interestingly enough, basketball icon Michael Jordan only joined the billionaire club this year thanks largely in part to his ownership of the Charlotte Hornets and royalties from Nike.

    The billionaires' combined wealth totals $7.05 trillion, up from $6.4 trillion a year ago.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2015
  2. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,554   +2,361

    Good on them.
     
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,498   +2,051

    I'm working on my 50th billion now, I gave up 49 times previously. :D
     
  4. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,554   +2,361

    Still working on the first million here. Must keep on keepin' on, to paraphrase something I heard somewhere sometime ago.
     
    Skidmarksdeluxe likes this.
  5. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,752   +1,105

    I always wonder about that 'Net Worth' description on the young ones. Do they just happen to own a ton of their own stock? And if so, how fragile is that 'net worth?' If Snapchat gets busted with some sort of privacy violation will he lose half his fortune overnight?
     
  6. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,554   +2,361

    It's usually either a stock mixture or whatever cash they're able to get in an acquisition. The fragility of the former is dependent upon market conditions. His net worth is relatively safe right until a major institution or the Fed blinks.
     
  7. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,752   +1,105

    Yeah, I know... it just sounds sort of false to say someone is worth a billion dollars when it's all stock in their own company. Look at Elon Musk, he's worth like $100 million (I'm guessing) less than he was in Sept just because Tesla stock went down so much. And it's not like he can sell the rest of it... he does that, he'll freak out the market and the stock will tank. So he's stuck with money he cant' spend.

    Granted, it's a good incentive not to be lazy with your company....or cook the books. :)
     
  8. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,554   +2,361

    Valid points. I'd be much more interested in how much after-tax, post-expense free capital these folks have. That's really the only figure that counts.
     

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